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When playing lead guitar and shredding solos, the minor pentatonic scale is your best friend. But since it’s most guitarist’s go-to, it can become tired. It’s time to break out of that box and play a lick that sounds fresh!

Larry Carlton is a great example of someone who breaks out of the pentatonic box in his rock playing by using different phrasing to take his playing to the next level. Ayla Tesler-Mabe shows you how he does it in these five Steely Dan songs, so you can implement his techniques in your solos:

  1. Daddy Don’t Live In That New York City No More
  2. Don’t Take Me Alive
  3. Everything You Did
  4. Kid Charlemagne
  5. I Got The News

All of these songs are played in the E minor pentatonic scale, but each one plays many notes outside of the scale giving the lick more flavor. There are various techniques used in these songs like bending, vibrato, phrasing, and the spacing of the notes — and Ayla goes through all of them. The five licks are sophisticated and definitely stand out from your regular minor pentatonic solos. Take inspiration from these guitar licks and you’ll start turning heads with your own solos.


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